Jodie Foster is apparently a more serious method actress than we thought. After playing a SETI scientist in the 1997 film, Contact, Mrs. Foster is now one of several celebrity donors who helped raise more than $220,000 dollars to get the defunct program up and running again. With the last American shuttle flight having left earth recently, it’s nice to see America’s real heroes, our movie stars, still believe space is worth exploring.
SETI, which was costing NASA $2.5 million a year, won’t be able to completely relaunch with this new seed funding, but it may be enough to get the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) out of hibernation. You can see a similar array of telescopes on the poster for Contact. Once the ATA is up and running, “the search for evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations and insight into the nature of our cosmic origins.”
After SETI was first cancelled, Betabeat reported on the online calls for a Kickstarter project to save the program. That never came together, but apparently the folks at SETI noticwed, because they seem to have set up there own funding platform modeled after Kickstarter, which they calls SETIStars.
Along with Mrs. Foster, big name donors include sci-fi author Larry Niven and Bill Anders, an honest to goodness astronaut who flew in the Apollo 8 mission, which was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth’s orbit, be captured by the gravitational field of the moon, and then break free in order to return to Earth.
We’re envisioning a made for TV movie in which a heroic celeb raises the funds for a new SETI program, only to find herself falling in love with a demonic alien who contacts her through Turntable.fm. Put that on Kickstarter.